Anti-government protests and a general strike were reported in Kermanshah and Kurdistan provinces, respectively, on Monday, April 16. Hundreds of laborers and truck drivers protested in Salas-e Babajani and Paveh counties over the enactment of a law that will raise customs fees and the closing of three border crossings along the Iran-Iraq border, and demanded that President Hassan Rouhani compel the local government to repeal the implemented customs duties. Most stores in the abovementioned areas participated in a strike protesting the customs fees hike and closed border crossings, as well as shops in the cities of Javanrud and Baneh (Kurdistan province).
On a separate note, media reported on April 16 that dozens of students from the University of Tehran had staged a demonstration in front of the office of the president of the university, protesting high tuition fees and inadequate services. Additional protests over customs duties and tuition fees, among other issues, are possible in Iran in the coming days and weeks.
Anti-government protests over various issues have taken place in several Iranian cities in recent weeks. Notably, farmers in Isfahan province have staged demonstrations in the city of Isfahan and in neighboring towns and villages since February 28, demanding that the government address the lack of sufficient water for agriculture amid the ongoing drought and consequent difficulty to grow crops in the region. On April 11, people from various professions staged separate demonstrations in Ahwaz, Kerman, Qazvin, Bandar Abbas, Karaj, Urmia, Roudbar, and in the province of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, protesting low or unpaid wages.
Protests had also recently erupted in Ahwaz (Khuzestan province) over perceived government discrimination toward Arab residents and Arab-majority areas. Security forces violently cracked down on the protests, and have arrested some 400 people due to their alleged participation in the demonstrations.
Individuals in Iran, particularly in the abovementioned areas, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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